Letter from the Editor: The Art of Wintering

Lucas Fox, which offers luxury properties on Spain’s Costa Brava, helps satisfy buyers’ tastes for European seaside havens.
Lucas Fox, which offers luxury properties on Spain’s Costa Brava, helps satisfy buyers’ tastes for European seaside havens.

When Salvador Dalí arrived on Spain’s stunning Costa Brava in 1930, he found its beauty so bewitching that he settled into a small fishing hut in Port Lligat bay in the town of Cadaqués. As his life progressed, so did the house, one room at a time. “Each new pulse in our life has its own new cell, a room,” he said of the continually changing, labyrinthine residence he would create from the tiny hut. Some rooms had white walls and distressed wood plank floors reached by narrow hidden passageways, others had furnishings bordering on—what else—the surreal. Dalí spent some 50 years in the house, now a museum and an enduring reminder of the magic that results from finding a place one would rather never leave.Costa Brava has retained its summery charm through many winters since Dalí settled there—its hills are now peppered with traditional, rustic stone farmhouses; its coastline is at once a sleepy fishing village and host to the occasional ultra-modern whitewashed compound. With a stabilizing housing market, the area offers smitten visitors even more reason to stay on, and this month’s Location column leaves no stone unturned in an effort to provide all the tips and tools it takes to help turn your Costa Brava dream hut into a reality.

If California’s mild winters sound tempting right about now, we take you to several very different residences in the Golden State, from a designer’s 1950s winter escape in Palm Springs to actor Roger Davis’ modernist enclave in the Hollywood Hills and a contemporary loft designed for an M.D. in super-hot Venice. We also visit L.A.’s charming Hancock Park, where designer Timothy Corrigan took a Tudor estate—which was down to studs—and painstakingly revived it to beyond its former glory, and present a $12 million Rancho Mirage compound with dreamy undertones.

Should winter turn you into more of a snow bunny than a snowbird, die-hard skiers and boarders will want to take notice of ownership opportunities at the Ritz-Carlton’s ski-in/ski-out residences at Colorado’s Bachelor Gulch, with its unforgettable “champagne powder,” as well as their residences at the Highlands in Lake Tahoe, with owner privileges such as a ski concierge and a direct gondola to the mountain. To top it off, this month’s Smart & Wired section covers Ultra-Mobile PCs—more powerful than a PDA and more compact than a laptop—perfect for checking e-mail over a hot toddy at the lodge.

Whether the new year gets you thinking sun or snow, secluded cove beaches or private black-diamond runs, we hope this issue compels you to winter in style.


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